Gov. Lee Applauds Repeal of Federal Military COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate

Friday, December 16, 2022 | 01:53pm

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Today, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee released the following statement on the repeal of the federal government’s overreaching COVID-19 vaccine mandate on members of the U.S. Armed Forces. The measure was included in the bipartisan National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which passed Congress and now heads to the president’s desk to be signed into law.

“For months, Tennessee has pushed back against the federal COVID-19 vaccine mandate placed on members of our military, and our efforts have paid off,” said Gov. Bill Lee. “In July, I called on the Biden administration to exempt members of the Tennessee National Guard as a matter of national security and state preparedness, and I recently led 20 fellow Republican governors in a letter urging Congress to repeal the overreaching mandate. Thanks to the partnership of Senator Marsha Blackburn and Tennessee’s congressional delegation, our troops can remain focused on their mission to defend Americans at home and abroad.”

Since early 2022, the Lee administration has asked the federal government to approve all COVID-19 vaccine exemption requests submitted by members of the Tennessee National Guard. In July, Gov. Lee wrote to the U.S. Secretary of Defense, warning that rejecting these exemptions would jeopardize force readiness at the risk of both state preparedness and national security. On November 30, Lee led a letter with 20 other Republican governors calling for Congressional action to repeal the federal mandate.